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State: Last call for notorious Ridge karaoke club - Brooklyn Paper

State: Last call for notorious Ridge karaoke club

Eric Zheng, 22, manager of the Crown KTV karaoke club on 64th Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues, denied that his club is a menace and said security is strict. The state is investigating whether the club was responsible for a bloody knife fight last week.
Community Newspaper Group / Dan MacLeod

The State Liquor Authority is lashing out against a violence-scarred 64th Street karaoke club with a history of bloody brawls and rampant drug use that could be serving its final last call by the end of the week.

The owners of Crown KTV will be meeting with the agency tomorrow in the hopes of renewing the bar’s liquor license, but the State Liquor Authority has already fined the club $7,000 for violating agency rules in the last month alone — making the chances of a renewal highly unlikely, explained spokesman Mike Smith.

“The outcome of the meeting will be strong disciplinary action,” said Smith. “It could lead to the revocation of their license.”

Community Board 10 has joined the State Liquor Authority’s fight against Crown KTV. The panel’s role is only advisory, but CB10’s Police and Public Safety Committee voted unanimously to oppose the club’s liquor license request last week, citing “criminal activities on the premises.”

Five people were stabbed outside the club between Eighth and Ninth avenues last summer after a fight inside spilled out onto the street. The bar has also come under fire for allowing teenage drinking and drug use.

CB10’s Police and Public Safety Committee Chairman George Fontas said that Crown KTV owners violated several aspects of the 12-point safety plan they hammered out with the committee when they asked for the board’s blessing to open back in 2009. The plan stipulated that Crown KTV had to keep security guards on staff, install a video surveillance system, and obey city noise regulations.

Fontas also said Crown KTV’s owners lied about what their business was going to become: it was initially proposed as a family restaurant, not a karaoke club, he said.

Crown KTV manager Eric Zheng — whose parents own the club — was out of the country and couldn’t be reached for comment, but his attorney, Paul Ascher, defended his client.

“Crown is a karaoke bar with a legal license operating lawfully,” Ascher said. “We will represent our case and hopefully we can convince the State Liquor Authority of the honest facts.”

Zheng told the Brooklyn Paper in an earlier interview that last summer’s knifing was sparked by a single unruly customer who was thrown out of the bar for having illegal substances on him.

Still, Zheng admitted Crown’s security was not as strong as it could be.

“We probably could have done better,” Zheng said. “By the time we got out there, the fight was over.”

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